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vadose zone

[ vādōs′ ]

A subsurface zone of soil or rock containing fluid under pressure that is less than that of the atmosphere. Pore spaces in the vadose zone are partly filled with water and partly filled with air. The vadose zone is limited by the land surface above and by the water table below. Compare phreatic zone.

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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.